Surfers Paradise is an area dominated by apartments.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics' 2011 census, 48 per cent of Surfers Paradise residents lived in flats, units or apartments. This is a huge figure and trumps the number of those who lived in houses (37 per cent) and semi-detached homes (14.6 per cent).
This if further highlighted when you consider that only 13.6 per cent of people live in this category of housing nationwide.
This means that if you're staying in Surfers Paradise property, there's a very good chance it's an apartment. And as the country dives further into spring, the season of change, you might feel like it's time to give yours a facelift.
Before thinking of what exciting renovations you're going to make to your unit, consider how long you might be staying in the apartment for. Amy Zimmer from DNAinfo recommends that if you plan to live in it for more than five years, you shouldn't worry too much about how much value you can add in the eyes of potential buyers.
When it comes to renovations, apartments have limitations that houses do not. The body corporate usually owns and manages the actual structure underneath surface coverings like wallpaper, paint, floors and so on. This means high-value renovations that require modifying the building's structural integrity will probably be out of the question. This includes busting down or building up a wall to create a new bedroom.
But that doesn't mean there's nothing you can do to freshen up your space and add value to your apartment. Many home improvement experts recommend making small cosmetic changes, like giving the walls a new coat of paint or even updating the door handles, which can get you a lot of return for your dollar.
The Department of Industry Innovation and Science notes that while you may not have free rein over your home's structure, you can make changes to things like plumbing fittings, appliances and kitchen joinery, such as cabinets, drawers and tabletops.
Furthermore, Cherie Barber from Complete Home regards the kitchen as "the pivotal hub of a property and will single-handedly add the biggest value to your property".
Renovating these features will add a breath of fresh air to your Surfers Paradise apartment and can increase its market value significantly.
Be money smart
Before getting started, do all your homework! This cannot be overstressed. First, set yourself a clear, realistic budget.
Then, calculate all your expenses, including how much it will cost to bring the appropriate designer, builder or craftsman on board. Try your very best to stick to your budget and cut out anything that might not be as high on the priority list if you have to.
If you're renovating your Surfers Paradise property purely for the purpose of making a profit, remember not to spend too much and overcapitalise your property. This occurs when the return from your investment is actually less than how much you spent on it.
Using the kitchen as an example, Cherie Barber's rule of thumb is that renovations in this room should not cost more than 2 per cent of your home's value. Anything more, and you're likely to be wasting money.
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